Sunday, 29 November 2009

Squidoo gets tough with spammers - but gets it wrong

One of the things you absolutely MUST do on Squidoo is to hang around in the forum and see who wants their new lens reviewed.  You can then post a comment which can include a sig. In my case, I put my principal business link - to my Xocai website, my lensography lens, my latest lens, and this blog.

You get to see the best of the best, and to start recognizing the Giant Squids and why they have got such a good reputation but also you get to see the worst of the worst,  that is to say lenses that have one aim and one only, to get you to visit an affiliate page, an ebay item etc and have very little informative value. Typically this type of lens will have the affiliate link repeated over and over in huge type and next to nothing else.

This is, deservedly the type of lens that no-one wants to see and can be consigned to the bin without any great loss. However, as they who must be obeyed at Squid HQ have tweaked this module, some sinister effects have crept in.

My lensography lens mentions all my blogs - like you would - and three of them are here on Blogger. And, as you would expect, it mentions all my lenses too. They are presented in a format encouraged by Squidoo - the featured lens module. When I publish this lens I get a nag saying I have too many outbound links to the same domain - UH???

Till today, this was OK, I could simply hit the 'publish anyway' button and not worry about it. Then I got a second message page saying my lens was suspected spambait or had something that broke the rules, and I couldn't get past it.

I read the rules and realised red-faced that yes it did. Squidoo frowns on gambling in all its forms, even buying a lottery ticket or participating in a business that is linked to a lottery is a no-go area. OK, it's a nuisance not being able to promote VWD along with my other affiliate businesses but it isn't the end of the world.  So I went through the lens with a fine-tooth comb and removed all references to VWD, its website, the tags that said lottery, VWD and win and tried to re-publish. It refused to co-operate, no matter how many times I edited, took out tags or whatever.

So the lens is sitting there with the code in that they don't want and I can't complete the work to correct it. In the meantime I apparently run the risk of having not just that lens locked or removed, but losing my entire Squidoo output. Doesn't seem very fair.

I have filed a Squidoo bug report and will report back on the response. However, it would be nice if a site of Squidoo's size and reputation did 'what it says on the box' and made sure that when they made a change that potentially hits a large chunk of their community, they did their testing with a little more care.

To redress the balance I would like to say a big thank you to Paul Duxbury, a Squid Angel who blessed my new lens today and has got traffic going to it even before Squidoo has promoted if from a work-in-progress to a complete work. He has a good blog which is worth bookmarking and rss'ing


Julie Wolf said...

good info for affiliate marketers online Jenny! This post is a good share for both my Squidoo and my blogging Skype room chats.

I already posted the link in the Squidoo Skype room, but it could be a useful thing to repeat as we get more members.

Thanks for being part of my Skype, blogging and now Squidoo community!

Julie Wolf - of Skype Tips

daybreak said...

No doubt Squidoo has its problems. I am glad you got this resolved. I agree that the spam lenses make the rest of us look bad and hope Squidoo can continue to deal with them without too many false positives.

Jenny Fletcher said...

I did get that issue resolved, but only after a lot of squeaking about it in the forums.

One day I tried again to edit and republish and it worked. No discussion or notification from Squidoo admin whatsoever.

And it now seems that the whitelisting actually works foir Blogger where it didn't before.

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Money online satnav said...

Thanks for Squidoo informations and congratulations for your websites and for this great blog.
Regards, Julian from

Nick W Bennett said...

Good post. Joined Squidoo months ago but only recently took an active interest in it. Glad to hear things worked out for you. See you around Squidoo!